11.COM 10.B.26

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Romania and the Republic of Moldova have nominated Traditional wall-carpet craftsmanship in Romania and the Republic of Moldova (No. 01167) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

In the past, wall carpets produced by weavers in communities of Romania and the Republic of Moldova were used not only as decorative features and sources of insulation but also as part of a bride’s dowry. A variety of techniques were needed to produce the pieces with impressive motifs. Certain patterns also indicated the weaver’s origin. The carpets had additional roles in community practices, such as at funerals where they symbolized a passage for the soul to the hereafter. They were also displayed at international exhibitions as markers of community identity. These days, wall carpets are mainly appreciated as works of art for public and private spaces and exhibited at city festivals and ceremonies. Techniques have changed from vertical or horizontal looms practised in some parts, to tight picking (thread by thread) and other forms with weavers now able to work from home. In villages, girls learn the art form from their mother or grandmother, while in cities craft centres, associations and colleges, as well as museums provide classes. Viewed as an expression of creativity and identity marker, wall-carpet craftsmanship is also considered as a tool to unite groups in society of different ages and socioeconomic backgrounds.

  1. Decides that, from the information included in the file, the nomination satisfies the following criteria:

R.1:   The file describes the skill and art of wall-carpet weaving in Romania and the Republic of Moldova as an important element of community life and as a symbol of local and national identity. Its modes of transmission are outlined (within families, in workshops, craft centres and schools). The element brings together different sections of the communities concerned (shepherds, weavers and loom makers). It also preserves the social memory of the communities concerned and is used for various community and family functions. The element is compatible with the requirements of human rights and that of sustainable development. Although the utilitarian and symbolic functions of carpets have been preserved, the ancient forms and patterns are reinterpreted, illustrating creative vitality;

R.2:   The file indicates that inscription would strengthen recognition of the skills and abilities of rural communities in general, and women weavers in particular. It would promote their technical and artistic heritage to young people and other communities nationally and beyond, thus fostering respect for cultural diversity and human creativity. As the element has bearers of different trades, age and gender, inscription can encourage dialogue for communities and individuals involved, while emboldening the bearers to carry on this expressive artistic craft through a harmonious merging of traditional and innovative components, highlighting how the vitality of an element of intangible cultural heritage can be based on the play of innovative and conservative tendencies;

R.3:   The communities concerned have launched initiatives in both countries to revive wall-carpet craftsmanship, transmitting traditional techniques, and organizing exhibitions, fairs and workshops. The safeguarding measures proposed to be developed with the support of both submitting States are coherent. They focus mainly on administrative measures, inventorying and research, and education and transmission of techniques, making a solid connection between education, culture and business. The communities, groups and individuals concerned in both countries have been involved in planning these measures and will participate in their implementation;

R.4:   The supporting documentation provided by the submitting States and submitted with the file demonstrate the inclusion of bearers and community in the nomination process, while there are no stated customary practices governing access to the element. The consent of communities concerned is documented by letters from the mayors of different municipalities in both countries and by weavers and their associations, clearly demonstrating a range of support for the nomination.

R.5:   The element has been registered since 2009 in the Romanian Repertory of Intangible Cultural Heritage, elaborated by the National Commission for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage, and since 2012 in the National Inventory of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Moldova, maintained by the Ministry of Culture. In both countries, these inscriptions have involved the communities and non-governmental organizations concerned. Updating mechanisms have been initiated both in Romania and the Republic of Moldova, according to the specific national institutional prerogatives and duties, and the respective legislation in force, on the protection of the intangible cultural heritage.

  1. Inscribes the Traditional wall-carpet craftsmanship in Romania and the Republic of Moldova on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
  2. Thanks the delegations of Romania and the Republic of Moldova for the clarifications provided to the Committee on the information included in the file concerning criterion R.5.

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